Hallowe’en Countdown IV, Day 9

« It was the spookiest horror ride anywhere! Mr. Awrus… a charming little old man, really… made it that way, because he liked to entertain people! But then the snake-thing arrived… and the others… heh-heh… and people went in… and didn’t come out… » — Horror Beasts Dine Tonight

Forrest J. Ackerman and James Warren’s Famous Monsters of Filmland, despite its own humble beginnings (or partly thanks to them!) went on to inspire quite a spate of imitators of… varying quality.

First out of the gate was Irwin Stein’s Magnum Publications, with Monster Parade (four issues). It was soon followed by Monsters and Things (two issues).

Define ‘Tunnel of Love‘… This is Monsters and Things no. 2 (April, 1959). Edited by Larry Shaw, with a cover by Stanley ‘Bob Powell’ Pawlowski (1916-1967).

As for the magazine’s grimy guts, there’s regrettably nothing outstanding: a couple of reprints of pre-Code material that was pedestrian to begin with… Curse of the Living Crossbones, illustrated by Ken Rice (a retitled Spectres of the Jolly Roger and True Tales of Unexplained Mystery #44, a one-pager about vengeful German gargoyles, illustrated by Sy Grudko, both plucked, minus colour, from Web of Mystery no. 22 (Jan. 1954, Ace Magazines).

The issue does contain a couple of fun wash illustrations, including this one by the esteemed Mr. Powell, also (along with the cover), accompanying the main feature, Horror Beasts Dine Tonight. “And will that be your usual table, sirs?
A sample of the classifieds. Do I, er… detect a certain pattern? One clear advantage of the Pin-Up Ghouls calendar is that you can reuse it next in 2026, so keep an eye out for gently-used copies!

Of further interest: An intriguing article about M&T’s predecessor, Monster Parade: http://frankensteinia.blogspot.ca/…/covers-of…

Still, it must be said that the dank, meandering back alleys of sleaze magazine publishing of the era are oddly fascinating, if decidedly disreputable places.

– RG

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